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U.S. News' Best Hospitals: University of Utah Health Care No. 1 in Salt Lake City, Among Top in Nation

SALT LAKE CITY—University of Utah Health Care is the No. 1 health care system in the Salt Lake City metro area, according U.S. News & World Report’s 2011-2012 Best Hospitals rankings. The University’s services in gynecology and ear, nose, and throat (ENT) were also ranked 47th and 50th in the nation by the magazine.

In addition, the University was recognized as “high-performing” in urology, nephrology, orthopedics, pulmonary, and cancer care.  This year is the 22nd edition of Best Hospitals and marks the 18th time the well-known survey ranked the University among the top hospitals and health care systems in the nation.

“This recognition represents the hard work and dedication of our staff and physicians, and it’s gratifying to be ranked among the nation’s best,” said Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, U of U senior vice president for health sciences and CEO of University of Utah Health Care. “Our patients are our first priority and we continually work to provide them the best possible care in every aspect of medicine.”

The core mission of Best Hospitals is to guide patients who need an especially high level of care, according to Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings editor. “These (ranked hospitals) are referral centers where other hospitals send their sickest patients,” Comarow said. “Hospitals like these are ones you or those close to you should consider when stakes are high.”

Approximately 5,000 hospitals in 94 U.S. metro areas were eligible for this year’s rankings. To meet the criteria hospitals must offer each of 16 medical specialties, and then are ranked according to death rates, patient safety rates, procedure volume, and other objective data. This year, 720 U.S. hospitals were ranked either in the top 50 or high-performing categories in at least one specialty area.

This is the first year U.S. News has included the “high-performing” category, which lists hospitals that weren’t ranked in the top 50 in a give specialty but were still among the top 25 percent in the nation.

The magazine also lists 72 University of Utah physicians in its list of top doctors. The physicians practice in 34 specialty areas and were selected based on a peer-nomination process.

The rankings for all hospitals and specialties are available at